Thursday, March 13, 2008

The gentler way..

So I thought it would be easier to answer in a post...

My first horse Tex and I went to trailer loading and it was a chore. I remember working for 2 1/2 hours on a Saturday afternoon after watching Clinton do a trailer loading lesson. Tex was, in a lot of ways like Jessie. They both want to challenge me. That day with Tex he was dripping wet and after an hour and a half I was just looking for a good place to stop. It took me another hour to find it. Now the next day he was in the trailer in about 10 minutes, so I could guess you would say that worked.

I've noticed over the last couple of months that some trainers, Chris Cox and a guy at Equine Affaire were talking about looking the horse in the eye. I think I must tend to do that and the horses take offense....or at least take it as a sign they want to challenge me. In the trailer loading situation I think the easier approach would have been, once she walked out, to just ask her to walk back in. At least give her a chance to be good. Instead, I started working her and brought her energy up and then I had to deal with the energy. Now, if she hadn't walked in the second time I still had the work option to go to and I don't think it would have been substantially different than what ultimately happened.

We did groundwork last night after work and she threw a tantrum doing LFR II again. It was about 60% intense as the last one and 25% as long. I didn't do much except make her back up when she reared and kept her from coming into my space (even when she started behaving). I also tried to focus on looking at her shoulders and feet instead of in the eye when she was looking for a fight.

One of my biggest challenges is to find the lightest pressure and apply it first, before escalating the pressure because I think there is always time to increase the pressure.

Hope that made some sense...

Thanks for the nice comments.
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